Men and Boys rise for Gender Justice in Jamia Millia Islamia- a brief report on CHSJ, ME-D and Mittika’s interaction
‘MenEngage Delhi’ is a network that started spreading its roots in the lead up to the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014 through various mobilisation and advocacy events with the idea of engaging men and boys in Delhi, especially the youth, for gender justice. MenEngage Delhi with support from Centre for Health and Social Justice and other partner organisations has reached out to several communities and colleges with the objective to create awareness and change norms around gender, masculinity and heteronormative lenses of sexualities that are prevailing in our society. Through sustained interventions, capacity building, mentoring and mobilisations, MenEngage Delhi hopes to engage men and boys for gender justice through debunking aggressive masculinities especially within the urban settings.
On 20th of October 2015, Centre for Health and Social Justice, and MenEngage Delhi organised a half day event at Jamia Millia Islamia to interact with students on issues of gender equality, human rights, patriarchy and masculinity.
The interaction began with a Forum Theater developed and performed by MITTI KA, a development resource organization that carries forward interconnections between different issues in society, enriching life spaces. The forum theatre covered the issue of gender based violence, patriarchy, the question of domination and power. The forum theater raised the question of social construction of gender by enacting a series of scenes from popular movies and making the students analyse the mannerisms of the main protagonists and their pre-conceived notions of what is typically male or female behavior. This was followed by an interactive workshop with the students that further explored these very issues and took the discussion forward.. The workshop addressed issues related to gender empowerment from a feminist discourse. This interaction explored masculinity in greater detail, including aggressive masculinity, hegemonic masculinity, the influence of media images with respect to gendered violence, social and cultural stereotypes and prejudices.
A survey was conducted after the workshop, which has been designed by CHSJ and MenEngage Delhi. The survey was conducted to assess the perspectives of college going students on the topic of gender equality.
Hannah Ryden, a journalist from Sweden who had been in touch with CHSJ utilized this opportunity to interact with the students. She was accompanied by Madishetty Manasa, a freelance photographer. Hannah was analyzing the methodologies that are working for gender equality and was also observing how these methods can bring about a cultural change with respect to gender equity in the society.
The event came to a conclusion with around 20 to 25 students from JMI expressing an interest in further involvement with the gender equality and masculinities work being proposed in JMI.
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